Can Data Breaches Save the World?
In what appears to be a tit-for-tat situation, Saudi Arabian and Israeli citizens have had their credit card details published by hackers. It seems to have started last week with a report out of Israel that possibly hundreds of thousands of credit card numbers and other personal details were published on the Internet’s dumping ground, “Pastebin.” According to various sources, between “100’s” and “10000s” of people’s information was publicly available thanks to a “Saudi hacker group.”
Not to be outdone, apparently this week another hacking incident involving credit card numbers took place. The targets were Saudi Arabian citizens, the perpetrator? Someone allegedly named “OxOmer” or “Omer Cohen”, an apparent Israeli citizen. Again, the Internet’s dumping ground, Pastebin, was used.
So there we have it, a bloodless skirmish. This behavior is a whole lot better than suicide vests on buses. Is this the next evolution in international disagreements? I mean, I would be all for it if I thought it would stop the killing, but we all know that’s not going to happen. It seems to me that this will augment the other, more dangerous, events.
There is an old movie, Rollerball, that starred James Caan as a sort of soldier roller derby player guy. In that movie when two corporations (replaced countries in this futuristic, set in 2018, story) disagreed and would have otherwise gone to war, they instead play a game of “rollerball.” It was a rather dangerous game, primarily because there was so much riding on it. The participants would basically do anything they could in order to stuff a steel ball into a hole and get a point. When I say “anything”, I mean just that – which included killing your opponent during the game. But hey, at least we don’t have 100 mile long battlefields with thousands of soldiers dying, right?
I’m sure you were wondering about that old movie, which is why I brought it up. (oh, that's the roller rink over there)
So here we have two societies, Saudi and Israeli. There are certainly members of each society who have taken a negative view of the others’. They are not willing to take up arms necessarily, but hack into a computer to harass and annoy, certainly. It appears that is what happened, or is still happening, here.
But here’s the rub: a member of the Israeli government have equated this to an act of terrorism.
Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon equated cyber attacks with terrorism, saying the country is prepared to respond.
Respond? The credit card companies shut down the stolen Israeli cards about as fast as one could hope, that’s the proper response. Perhaps a law enforcement based investigation, some international cooperation and maybe an arrest. That too, is the proper response. Equating this act to terrorism and then promising a “response” is a dangerous proposition. Are they going to hurl missiles into Saudi Arabia because some idiot hacked into a weak, unprotected coupon offering website???
Maybe I am taking his words too literal, but there were comparisons made to a possible hacking into Israel’s national infrastructure like the electric grid or the banking system and bringing it down.
Things are already incredibly tense over there in the Middle East, I don’t think we need to add a new dimension to an already incendiary situation, but hey, that’s just my personal thoughts on the matter – and really, what do I know…